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Subaru Outback Versus Golf Alltrack: Which Wagon will Win?

February 12, 2017

Station wagons aren’t popular anymore right? In fact, station wagons haven’t been popular for a few decades right? Well, not necessarily. Both the Subaru Outback and the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack are highly popular vehicles that are selling really well today. Sure many buyers would agree that station wagons aren’t the most attractive vehicles to look at, but it’s hard to beat the utility that they offer in such a compact car form-factor. The good news is that both of these wagon variants are pretty solid cars, the bad news is that you’ll have to choose one or the other when deciding on your next vehicle. We’ll delve into both of these bad boys to help you figure out exactly which one is the right one for your needs.

17 Subaru Outback

17 Subaru Outback

 

Appearance

When picking between the Volkswagen Golf Alltrack and the Subaru Outback, you’re really choosing between the look of a traditional station wagon, and the look of a little SUV. The Outback looks like a station wagon, albeit a modern one. The Volkswagen Golf Alltrack looks more like a compact SUV. The appearance that appeals to you is completely subjective, but if you just want the utility without the looks of a wagon the Alltrack is likely the better option of the bunch.

17-golf-alltrack

17 Golf Alltrack

Superb Handling

While the Subaru Outback is a bit more capable when you drive off the smooth path, how often do most US drivers do that? If you’ll be using your wagon on standard paved roads most of the time it makes sense to consider how the vehicle is going to handle in that instance. The Golf Alltrack offers top-notch performance and handling for a station wagon. The steering remains tight around corners, handling is responsive and accurate at all times. There’s also the added benefit of a manual option with the Alltrack so that you can drive like a race-car driver if you really want to. This option isn’t offered on the Outback.

Towing Power

If you plan on doing any real towing with your station wagon, you should take a good hard look at the Subaru Outback. It is rated to pull between 2,700 and 3,000 lbs. That’s something that isn’t recommended at all in the Alltrack. We argue that with all the space the Alltrack offers you likely won’t have too much need to tow, but every owner’s use will vary and it might be important to you.

Interior Looks

When it comes to the look of the inside of the wagon, the Outback is very different from the Alltrack. The Outback is pretty basic with cheaper materials and less design work. Overall it looks like a base vehicle that’s appointed decently, but it doesn’t pass for a luxury vehicle within at all. The Golf Alltrack is appointed with nicer furnishings and actually does look more like a luxury vehicle within. It might be a bit more difficult to maintain, so there is always a tradeoff to consider.

Space

When it comes to space in general the Subaru Outback wins the war. It’s got around 4 cubic feet of added storage space at the rear, and the seating is a bit roomier for added comfort. The Alltrack is intimate and lacks a bit of the utility of the Outback, but that’s likely why it handles better, so you have to pick what appeals to you most.

 

The Subaru Outback is for rugged outdoorsy types that want more towing, more space and more off-road handling. The Golf Alltrack is for users that want better performance, a nicer look and more comfortable interior. Both are similar in power, price and tech, so the differences outlined above have to determine which is the winner for you.

The 2017 Golf Alltrack is Highly Capable

February 3, 2017

It’s been quite a while since hatchbacks were popular, but they are coming back in the United States. In order to answer that increasing demand, Volkswagen put out the 2017 Alltrack. It’s a sporty hatchback that’s surprisingly capable and high class. It’s a good solid option worth considering, but first let’s look over the features and go over what makes this car special.

2017-golf-alltrack

High Class Interior

The inside of the Alltrack nearly resembles a luxury model. Soft touch materials are used throughout, the front seats are comfortable and the media system comes with all the expected features. There’s support for Android Auto as well as Apple CarPlay. The only real downside to the inside of the Alltrack is that the back seats are a bit cramped. Adults would find it tight in back, but most children have no trouble riding back there without issue. The hatchback also happens to be whisper quiet while you drive down the road thanks to excellent sound proofing down by Volkswagen. Overall it’s a treat to ride in.

It’s Fast

When you look at the Alltrack you probably think of the Subaru Outback. The vehicle probably doesn’t strike you as very fast either. All those preconceptions will fade away once you’re behind the wheel of the hatchback though. It’s surprisingly quick thanks to the 170 HP engine that it’s equipped with. Acceleration is enjoyable and a quick stomp on the gas pedal will put you back into your seat. The dual clutch the engine is attached to is also a treat to use and it’s so smooth you’ll find it hard picking out the different gear shifts during standard driving.

It Handles Like a Champ

Hatch backs aren’t known for their handling prowess, but the 2017 Alltrack does surprisingly well around the corners and in standard driving conditions. It has a firm suspension and is designed to minimize body roll. That means you can really carve out the corners as you drive around and put this station wagon through its paces. It’s a blast to drive around, and you don’t have to worry about holding back while you motor around either.

Top Level Safety is Available

Though we were a bit surprised not to see any blind spot monitoring system offered for the Alltrack, the safety package that’s available for the vehicle offers most of the top-level preventative safety features that you would want. It comes with adaptive cruise, that will help regulate speeds with varying traffic types out on the highway. The package also comes with a forward collision system that brakes automatically in extreme emergencies, and sounds an alarm when obstacles get too close out front.

Overall the Alltrack is a solid piece of machinery that you can’t help but love if you like hatchbacks. If you are in the market for this type of vehicle, give the 2017 Alltrack a look.

Volkswagen will Feature the First Embedded Alexa Voice Control

January 18, 2017

Volkswagen is known as an innovator and automakers have long been looking for ways to offer top quality voice features to their vehicles. It only seems natural that Volkswagen would be the first automaker to actually embed Amazon Alexa into its vehicles. If you aren’t familiar with Amazon Alexa, it’s highly rated voice chat system that offers exciting features to its users, like smarthome control and simple research capabilities. You can even place Amazon orders by saying simple commands to one of the little voice chat hubs. When added to a vehicle though, things get even more interesting. Upcoming Volkswagen vehicles will come with some pretty cool voice control features.

vw-jetta-interior

 

Voice Nav

Voice navigation is the best way to figure out where you need to go, and Alexa is a perfect fit for the job. Alexa can tie into your vehicle’s navigation system and offer you turn-by-turn directions while making it easier to look up new places as well. Drivers will enjoy advanced navigation features and more control over where they are going.

Smarter with Time

The nice thing about Amazon Alexa is that it gets smarter over time, and this will prove true in the automotive version of the tech as well. Alexa is designed to learn your user preferences over time, which means it will begin offering more useful navigation advice that brings you on the types of roads that you actually enjoy traveling on, rather than the fastest route all the time. This should naturally make driving more enjoyable and make navigating from one place to another a bit more natural as well.

Vehicle Information

Since the automotive Amazon Alexa system is tied right into your car’s computer, you can use it to tap into vehicle information even when you aren’t around it. In the future that might make it possible to start your vehicle, lock or unlock the doors and to check the fuel level of the vehicle, all from one of the Alexa hubs around your home, or by using your smartphone.

Home Control

Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular, because it’s nice to be able to control your home even when you aren’t there. You can lower temperatures while out of the house using a smart thermostat, or you can raise them back up before heading home if you’re going home at an unexpected time. Heck, you can even play music, turn lights on and off or lock and unlock the doors of your house withe right smart setup. Amazon Alexa is a natural addition to many of these systems, and Alex Automotive ties right in with the whole ecosystem, giving you access to everything that your home-based Alexa has access to. That means that you can turn your temperatures up, unlock your home to let your Uncle in, or open up that smart doggy door to let Fido out, all while being behind the wheel of your Volkswagen.

The Only Embedded Alexa

By saying that Volkswagen is offering an embedded Alexa I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy Alexa in another vehicle, you can. You just can’t do so without having a smartphone hooked up. You’ll have to remember to plug your phone in before every trip to get those sort of features, and they still won’t be available in every vehicle that you ride around in. With the latest Volkswagen vehicles, you’ll always have Alexa available, even if you forget to bring your smartphone along for the ride.

There’s no word exactly when Alexa will be add to Volkswagen vheicles, but it’s expected on some of the next models to be released.

A Bigger and More Effective Volkswagen Tiguan on the Way

January 11, 2017

The Volkswagen Tiguan is about to get larger and more exciting for many American families. That’s because Volkswagen is realizing that it doesn’t offer large enough SUVs for many Americans. The automaker unveiled an up-sized version of the Tiguan that it will be releasing in a year or two from now. This version of the Tiguan shows off three rows of seating with space to hold 7 passengers comfortably. Not only that, but it’s nearly 57% larger on the interior, offering some serious storage space for families, especially if they don’t need the additional seating.

tiguan-3-rows

Front and All Wheel Drive Options

The up-sized Tiguan comes standard with three rows of seating if you pick up the front-wheel drive version of the vehicle. That means the base model is going to come standard with the added space and seating room.

If you go for the all-wheel drive version of the Tiguan, you won’t get the added seating as standard. That’s the option for buyers that really don’t want that extra seating at all. Instead you’ll have to add the third row of seating on as an extra if you want to be able to take advantage of it.

Cool Safety Features

Preventative safety features are becoming normal on new vehicles, and Volkswagen doesn’t want to be left behind. While the automaker does not plan on setting the features to be offered standard with the base Tiguan, they will add the option for different features so that you can choose which ones you want added on.

Options like blind-spot monitoring, lane departure warning, adaptive cruise, pedestrian monitoring and forward-collision systems are all expected to be available to interested buyers.

The Volkswagen Tiguan is sure to get some tech upgrades as well, but overall the main change that’s coming to it is the larger size and increased seat capacity. It will run on a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine and should be relatively efficient considering its overall size.

If you have a large family, and you like Volkswagen vehicles, the next Tiguan, or even the Atlas SUV from Volkswagen could be a good solid option to consider.

The Volkswagen Atlas to Come in R-Line Model

January 4, 2017

When Volkswagen announced the Atlas SUV earlier last year it was a revolutionary time for the automaker. They were finally getting into the mid to large-sized SUV market! Well now Volkswagen is announcing an exciting update for the SUV. Not only is it going to get an upsized and tech-savvy SUV that looks great, but it’s going to come with a performance option as well if that’s something you’re interested in. It will be known as the Atlas R-Line and it offers two options that both offer higher levels of performance.

vw-atlas-r-line

Appearance Enhancements

As with any R-Line version of a Volkswagen vehicle, this model will come with plenty of R-Line badging around the interior and exterior. That’s not the only thing that you’ll get though. There will be some color and style accents within, and a custom R-Line media dashboards inside the vehicle. There will also be a set of 20-inch Aluminum alloy wheels that look really nice compared to the standard wheels. All these things come together nicely to give the R-Line version of the Atlas a high quality appearance.

Greater Power

To many car owners more power is always a good thing. If that sounds like something you believe in, you’ll just love the added power that comes with the Atlas R-Line. there are two different variations to choose from, and the main differentiator is the power offered by each. The lower power version gives you 235 HP to play around with and it uses a turbo four-cylinder engine that should be decently efficient. The more potent SUV comes with a turbo V6 that’s packing 280 HP overall. No matter which model you pick, you’ll get a solid eight-speed transmission to rely on.

Optional All Wheel

The R-Line Atlas will be available with all-wheel drive just like other versions of the SUV. It’s something that you’ll have to pay extra for though, so prepare for a higher price tag if you want all-wheel drive.

Drive Select Modes

Just like most performance vehicles, the R-Line model of the Atlas will come with a series of drive select modes to choose from. This will make it easy to pick how much power you want to squeeze out of the SUV and how you want the throttle to behave.

The Atlas R-Line isn’t for everyone, but to the right person it’s a pretty exciting offering. It represents one of the most powerful SUVs offered by Volkswagen and one of the most spacious. The Atlas, coupled with the up-sized Tiguan give American auto buyers something more to pick from from Volkswagen.

The Golf Clubsport Smashes its Own World Record by Two Seconds

December 28, 2016

The Nurburgring track is known for being difficult to go around, and the cars that hold lap records there are almost always impressive vehicles. The Volkswagen Golf Clubsport S is one of those elite vehicles, and it’s just as impressive. In fact, this car from Volkswagen didn’t just set the lap record a single time, the same car set the record and was then used once again to crush its own record by an additional 2 seconds.

2017-vw-golf-gti

Smashing the Record

The first world record set was for a time of 7:49 and it was achieved back in May, giving Volkswagen the fastest car by around a second compared to the existing record. The latest record by the same car, was for 7:47, making the car about 3 seconds faster than all the rest. that’s a pretty big deal and something to be excited about.

Making the Most of the Golf GTI

If you’re really into the Golf Clubsport S and you love the fact that it bested performance cars around Nurburgring, you might be a bit disappointed to learn that there are only 400 in existence and that they are only available in Europe. While those two things are upsetting, they aren’t as upsetting as you might think. The Golf GTI is a pretty decent replacement and it offers similar performance, even if it is toned down a bit. You probably won’t be setting world records in the car, but that doesn’t mean it’s boring to drive around. It’s a blast to take on back roads, around windy drives and even on the morning commute.

It’s Light and Fast

While the Golf GTI is no Clubsport S, it’s a highly tuned machine that’s designed to go fast and can do quite a bit with what it has to offer. This little car offers over 210 HP and around 250 lb.-ft. of torque on the right model. This is an impressive amount of power from a lightweight four-cylinder engine and the car is so light that you really feel that power as you go down the road.

If you’re looking for a small, fun to drive, and energetic vehicle, you would be hard-pressed to find something than the Golf GTI. It’s also pretty affordable for what it offers, so consider making an investment towards power and excitement with this vehicle.

It’s hard to say if the Clubsport record will hold in the future as vehicles get more advanced, but that doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you can get an exciting vehicle by buying the Golf GTI, and you’ll add some life into your regular drives, which is much more interesting than who holds the world record.

The 2017 Jetta offers More Power and Tech

December 22, 2016

The 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is an enhanced version of the 2016 model car and it comes with enough enhancements to make it worthy of an upgrade for many car buyers. This model vehicle is fun to drive, it’s tech savvy and it looks really nice compared to the outgoing model. No matter if you like appearances, capabilities or modern tech features, there is something to look forward to in the 2017 Jetta.

2017-volkswagen-jetta

Enhancements Across the Board

Volkswagen wanted to make sure that every level of Jetta buyers was sufficiently compensated when it came to the latest model of the vehicle, and there are some nice enhancements to every single level of the 2017 Jetta. Whether you’re interested in power enhancements, tech improvements or just nice comfort features, the new Jetta gets all of the above.

Base Improvements

The 2017 Jetta S is more capable than any other base version of the vehicle before it, and that’s a good thing for all you entry level buyers out there. This car comes with LED daytime running lights as well as a rear view camera system to help with backing out of tight spaces. The car also has 16-inch standard wheels to help give it a more refined look while improving handling slightly.

Mid Range Improvements

When you step up to the mid-range Jetta SE, you aren’t just bumping up the luxury of the vehicle, you’re making it more capable as well. The SE comes with a sunroof and a steering wheel and shifter that are both leather-wrapped. It also features the Car-Net app connnectivity suite, allowing you to attach your phone to your vehicle and make use of things like Google Maps and Spotify while traveling down the road. The car also comes with blind-spot monitoring to help keep you safe out on the road, and keyless entry and push button start to give more of a luxury feel. It’s a nice improvement to the old model and anyone interested in technology will enjoy the changes made.

Top Level Enhancements

Finally there is the top-end model of the Jetta, the SEL. This version is more powerful with a 1.8 liter turbocharged 170 HP motor. It also comes with auto braking and a forward collision warning system that helps keep you out of trouble even if your eyes wander while driving around. Rain sensing wipers keep windows clean without your intervention, and dual zone climate control makes sure both the driver and the passenger can remain comfortable during the ride.

Overall the 2017 Volkswagen Jetta is much improved. It’s an exciting addition to the VW family, and it’s something that you’ll at least want to take a look at. The improvements are pretty substantial, and even without them it would be one of the most capable, and most enjoyable little sedans to drive around the road in.